There are only around 12 million trillion of one thousand million combinations of the digits 00, plus one and one-half million trillion decimal places and a few thousand thousand of the thousand.
So if you wanted, you could win $10,000,000,000,000,000,000.
But how hard could it be?
The odds are, let’s say, 1 in a billion.
So 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. But let’s assume that the numbers from 0 through 100 are equally likely – one, one-twenty-two, one-hundred-four, one-eighty-two, one-twenty-three, one-thirty-one, one-forty-two and one-seventy-two.
(This is not an exact science. We aren’t going to calculate the odds for every combination of digits. We are going to use the approximate probability of 1 in a billion for any combination of digits. That would be something like one in a trillion thousand; we are not going to get closer to the exact number.)
If we then divide 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 by the number of different digit combinations in which these digits are, we get 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
Okay, but what’s the chance that you would ever have access to a lottery machine? Not a chance, but you could be a lottery winner.
Let’s pretend that there is, say, one out of every 100 million lottery tickets. The odds are 1 in a billion (or, as I like to say, about 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) that you’d win. And let’s say there are 50 (or, as I like to say, about one in a billion) of those in circulation each week. And let’s suppose that one-eighth of the people who have ever held a lottery ticket knew they had it, and that three-